If you’ve got a spare $100 burning a hole in your picket, and have never had Afternoon Tea at The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, then you need to check that off your bucket list, because the experience is sublime. But if you find yourself at the Plaza for any reason at all, be sure to wander up to the Rose Club, which is the bar / jazz club on the mezzanine level just off the lobby, so you can check out the rad ceiling lighting!
Maybe have a drink and a snack while you’re there, so you have more time to take in the ambiance.
This cleverly-name-drink menu was spotted outside McGee’s Pub, the bar that served as the inspiration for McLaren’s Pub on the hit TV series How I Met Your Mother. I wonder if they also host a Trivia Night?
McGee’s Pub and Restaurant is Located at 240 West 55th Street (Between Broadway and 8th Avenues) in Midtown Manhattan.
What a nice surprise it was to find this huge mural by legendary Black Flag logo designer and flyer artist, Raymond Pettibon, adorning a wall of the backyard patio (reserved for smokers, although it was vacant when this picture was snapped) at the Double Down Saloon when we were there drinking happily last evening. Born Raymond Ginn in 1957, Pettibon is of course the younger brother of Black Flag guitarist and primary songwriter Greg Ginn. Trivia!
The Double Down Saloon is located at 14 Ave. A, just north of Houston, New York, NY 10009.
This summer, I’ve forgone an extended vacation away from NYC in favor of taking Fridays off from my day job, and the shortened work week / extended weekend has added immeasurable value to my life. I highly recommended it.
As tempting as it is to just stay inside with the AC blasting and stare at my iMac all day, I make sure to plan a little urban adventure each Friday so I can get outside and enjoy the lovely sun and hot hot heat. Because if you are lucky enough to live in NYC, you owe it to yourself and your surroundings to cultivate an Explorer Mentality!
This past Friday, the stars aligned and I was finally (after three unsuccessful attempts) able to get my timing right and show up at the Mr. Brainwash Life is Beautiful exhibit when it was actually open (easier said than done, as there is no information anywhere on the website nor are exhibit hours posted on the door. More about that, coming soon). And since I was already in the Meatpacking District, I took a walk.
Just a couple of blocks southeast, at the corner of Washington and West 13th Streets, I strolled past the infamous (and unmistakably filthy exterior of) Hogs & Heifers Saloon, a long-standing Biker Bar which is closing its doors in August after having its rent hiked a gazillion percent by evil bastard landlords. I had no desire to go in, but I wanted to take a couple of photos, you know, to remember what was once here on this corner after they raze it to the ground and open another designer fashion boutique that I can’t afford to shop at.
I have been in Hogs & Heifers exactly one time, and that was in the late ’90s (best guess: 1997 – 1999) at an Atlantic Records-sponsored album release party for the band Fountains of Wayne – because record companies used to throw lots of parties like that, and I used to get invited to them at a pretty steady clip.
What I recall vividly about the Hogs & Heifers party is that the bar smelled like stale sweat and the Fountains of Wayne guys acted like smug dicks. I had fun though, because soft rock heartthrob Duncan Sheik was also at the party, and I had a little crush on him at the time. Later in the evening, on the sidewalk just outside the bar, the soon-to-be famous Sandwich Photo (me posed between Duncan and his adorable publicist, Ken Weinstein) was taken. Good times.
The World is a different place now, and nothing stays the same. You can read more about the closing and learn a bit of interesting trivia about Hogs & Heifers, including their legendary Bra Collection at This Link.
Photo added November 14, 2015: This is what the space looks like right now:
We spotted this fantastic Mid-Century Design Service Bar at an event at the Marriott Marquis Hotel and had to take a snap! The design would look great as part of any retro or modern decor, but in this case, we think that the carpet’s print reflects onto the mirrors to make the orbs look like a constellation of planets! Very Cool!
Just in case the act of drinking was not enough to keep you thoroughly amused, the open bar at a recent art event I attended had these coasters with an adorable little pop out sheep figure that you could assemble while you leaned against the bar and looked over at the hipster art / art fans with feigned disinterest. Visual instructions on how to assemble the sheep, as you can see, are included on the coaster.
Art and Interior Shots By Gail Worley, Food Photos by Anne Raso and Gail Worley
NOTE: Sadly, L’asso EV Has Closed as of July 2013
Against trend, we often side with the belief that most foods labeled “Healthy” might be significantly less tasty than their less healthy counterparts – case in point: Pizza. So, we had a pretty serious Come to Jesus Moment this week while dining for the first time at L’asso EV, a newcomer to the East Village, boasting a dedication to the organic, gluten free culinary approach, that manages to get just about everything right.
We were initially tempted to visit L’Asso with the promise of being served the “Best Pizza In NYC” (a claim we have heard many times before). And while we admit that L’asso EV’s pizza is insane, it is really a co-star amid an ensemble cast (menu) of tasty treats that will likely convert you to a regular customer.
With a smaller, original location at 192 Mott Street (at Kenmare), L’asso EV (Italian Translation : The Ace , with EV signifying the East Village) opened with an expanded menu at 107 First Avenue about 6 months ago. They are proud of their pizza – and rightly so – but L’Asso offers a varied menu featuring fresh, unique salads, appetizers, pasta and desserts that you won’t find on any other area menu. Aside from the delicious food, the space is totally cool.
Striking a fine balance of hip and classy, the restaurant is a perfect addition to this wildly popular and centrally located neighborhood which attracts both foodies and the artistically inclined crowd. Before we even get to the food, the interior is immediately inviting and comfy. L’asso EV’s appealing decor – a mix of clean chic and farmhouse kitsch – is enhanced by an impressive collection of art adorning its walls.
Above Two Photos from Ashley Macknica’s Pizza is My Lover Series
From a collection of Ashley Macknica photographs known as the Pizza is My Lover series, to a colorful pyramid mural painted directly on the wall by local street artist Dima Drjuchin, to an eclectic collection of tiny canvases scattered across the walls of the large back room (great for groups), there are almost as many beautiful things on view at L’asso as there are delicious things to eat. Innovative Chefs Jackie Gibson and Joseph Lee make sure of that.
Mural By Dima Drjuchin
Amid an enticing selection of big salads, we chose to start our meal with the Insalata Fresca ($15.00), made with cucumber, corn, tomato, cilantro, radish and salty, flavorful caciocavallo cheese dressed lightly with olive oil, lemon juice and soy sauce. It looked as good as it tasted!
The D.O.C. Bufalina Pizza appetizer was presented on a house-made bagel topped with Buffalo Mozzarella, San Marzano Tomatos and Extra Virgin Olive Oil ($6.00)
A major highlight of the evening came early (and unexpectedly) in the form of the Fried Tomato Appetizer ($14.00), which was recommended to us by our charming server/host, Paul AKA Love Jungle This is a satisfying plate of three, thick-cut slabs of Red (not green!) Tomato, well coated in a light, seasoned breadcrumb mix and expertly pan fried, drizzled with balsamic and served topped with huge ball of fresh mozzarella. OMG! Not only are the sweet, ripe tomatoes beyond delicious on their own, but the mozzarella is so soft, milky and fresh, this dish is nearly as luscious and decadent as a dessert.
A Trio of Eda’s Meat Balls ($11.00) – a mix of veal, beef and pork –arrived at our table fresh from the oven, baked in a ramekin with sauce and more Buffalo Ricotta. The meatballs are huge, flavorful, juicy, tender and highly recommended!
Gnocchi can be a fickle mistress, but L’asso’s Gnocchi Portofina ($13.00) are among of the lightest and fluffiest Gnocchi we have tasted. Served in a light tomato sauce with homemade ricotta, we would ask for an additional dollop of the accompanying delicious cheese when ordering these again.
L’asso Mussels (cooked with garlic, white wine and pancetta, $14.00) are served with generous helping of crispy, fresh herb-tossed French Fries accompanied by a fresh and creamy Pesto Aioli for dipping.
Finally, it was time for us to get down to the business of eating pizza, and our attentive wait staff created a special, off-menu (but soon to be on menu), item just for us: a Muffaletta Pizza, which they cheekily call The Big Muff ($18.00)! This round pie is based on the famous New Orleans sandwich, being topped with Green Olive salad and both mortadella and sopresatta before being buried in cheese. This pizza is so rich and loaded with toppings and yet the suportive crust stays crisp and light. A small pie can easily be shared between two people, with a shared salad, and it is doubtful you would leave hungry. We will concur that L’asso EV deserves to lay claim to serving the “Best Pizza in the East Village.” We will be back for more.
L’asso EV is Located at 107 First Avenue, Between 6th and 7th Streets in NYC’s East Village. Phone 212-837-2048 to make a reservation and visit their awesome website to find out about special nights and events.